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Critical realism advances historical knowledge
Critical realism accounts for a more complete and well-rounded account of history due to its focus on how individual perspective contributes to the whole story.
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Critical realism is the best research philosophy because of how it advances historical knowledge. This is because critical realism understands that humans are subjective beings who cannot understand the ‘real’ world for what it objectively is. A person will always see the world from their individual point of view which is subjective. Therefore, what they interpret as reality is not universal, and it does not represent the real world. In order for us to study and understand history, we have to understand that there is no one single version of history. Rather, history should be studied from multiple perspectives in order to understand what happened because everyone has a different interpretation of the event. By bringing all the interpretations together, a much more comprehensive version of events is developed. This is what critical realism strives for – to acknowledge that we cannot see the ‘real’ world and therefore should look for multiple perspectives to understand as much as we can. Critical realism is important for the advancement of historical knowledge because it stresses the individual perspective and therefore seeks out multiple perspectives. This ensures that all sides of history are told. In addition, it is reflexive, meaning that it is continuously evolving because it knows that we cannot know the real objective truth of any event.
[P1] Humans are subjective beings. [P2] The ‘real’ world can only be observed subjectively. [P3] History is subjective. [P4] Critical realism understands that history is subjective and tries provide a multiple perspectives to historical knowledge.